Each robot vacuum cleaner is put through the same series of tests, so that we can find out which is good and which is bad. We measure quality (vacuum and mop performance) and usability, including navigation and app control.
Our testing environment
We test our robotic vacuum cleaners in real environments with chairs and other furniture. We have a combination of hard flooring and carpet, so that we can test the performance of the cleaner on both types of surface.
We take before and after photos of our dark carpet to show how well the cleaner did. We use an ‘X’ flour in the middle of the carpet to prevent dust splatter in real life. This is a difficult ordeal, and will require more dirt to be lifted than most sweepers, but it lets us get the good cleaners out of the bad.
Hard floor test
Like the carpet test above, we also spread X on a hard floor, in the middle, and on both sides of the room, so we see what the regular performance is like and whether the robot can clean the edge of the room.
For those robots that can mop, we test on a light floor that has become naturally dirty by walking. We take before and after images to see if the robot can deal with hard ground stains or just light surface dirt.
We measure the sound by standing with a decibel meter above each vacuum cleaner. We measure sound on all display modes.
Along with testing the quality of cleaning, we measure each robot cleaner to see how easy it is to use. We use apps well to see what options are available, testing a no-go zone if available.
We also see how well each robot can navigate a room, keeping in mind when it gets stuck and where it struggles.
Scoring and decision
All ratings are made according to the criteria stated here. We weigh reviews based on price and target audience. For example, a budget cleaner that has some navigation problems, but is generally well cleaned, can score high; An expensive cleaner that misses a piece of dirt behind will be downgraded.
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